La Grande Ourse
One of the most highly-regarded restaurants in Val d’Isère, La Grande Ourse opened as a timber chalet in 1936 – the same year the first ski lift opened – and fast became the hippest hut in town. In the 50s it was known as the place to go après-ski with live jazz musicians and strong drinks, but by the 70s it was about the food and nothing but the food – so help us God.
We’re please to report that things haven’t changed much since. Cosy up with a delicious meal in front of the blazing log fire or enjoy the afternoon sun on the heated south-facing terrace. There are even deckchairs to sunbathe on, should the rays be strong enough. The restaurant itself is beautifully decorated, with a fresco on one wall painted by local artist Fautrier.
Chef Philipe Debize has created a mouthwatering menu that still gets foodies’ knickers in a twist, including squid and scallop risotto, garlic roast lamb, fillet of beef, grilled sea bass, veal liver, black pudding with roast apple, poached lobster ravioli with crayfish cause and oysters in tarragon sauce. As you can imagine, the reservations book is always packed.